An Upstate New York man was recently arrested after he reportedly assaulted a hospital security officer while he was receiving treatment in the emergency room. Since the arrest, he has been charged with second-degree assault, as well as fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He is scheduled to appear in court at a later, unspecified date.
The alleged assault was said to have occurred while the man was being treated in the hospital. Under circumstances that aren't entirely clear, the man supposedly attacked one of the hospital security officers using a nearby medical instrument as a weapon. The officer sustained injuries to his face and neck, which required medical treatment. Police reports also indicate that the man appeared to be under the influence of bath salts during the attack.
With headline-stealing news of a violent assault committed by a man who was apparently under the influence of bath salts in Florida, a large share of New York residents may have already formed opinions regarding this man's presumed innocence. Prematurely formed public opinions could play a role in the outcome of this man's criminal trial. This may become a concern for the man's defense team.
Though the details of the story, as reported by media outlets, appear to be concerning, the exact circumstances of the incident are not made clear by news reports, so there is likely another side to this story. Regardless, this man is entitled to the same rights as any other person accused of a crime in New York and that includes the legal presumption of innocence to any and all charges lodged against him, regardless of public opinion. It is not said where the police are in their investigation process, but this individual will have the opportunity to confront witnesses offering testimony against him as well as to challenge any physical evidence offered in support of the allegations.
Source: The Utica Observer-Dispatch, "Herkimer man arrested after assaulting St. Luke's security officer," June 3, 2012